We enjoyed our monthly meeting full of exciting information about competitions, conventions, and BEER! Seven members attended plus visitor Paul from Pinellas who brought us a check for participation in Best Florida Beer. His club recommends using it to subsidize educational efforts such as getting more members to certify as judges. That may be just the encouragement a couple of us need to take the next step now that we've learned so much from Joe's competition team meetings.
One of Joe's beers placed 3rd in the Kansas NHC competition! Congrats, Joe! He reminds us that the Sunshine (Orlando) competition is open, and Hogstown (Gainsville) opens soon. See www.Reggiebeer.com for more info. Joe will be judging at Hogstown. An important tip is to enter your beer into the correct style. At the last competition the judges noted that a beer entered into the Belgian strong style and only scored in the 20's would have scored in the 40's if it was entered as a Belgian Golden!
NHC is in Rhode Island at the end of June. Join us! We'll be taking lots of beer to share on Club Night from our Beer Booth with a Village People theme! LOL!
And, of course, we tasted some excellent beer, including Brian's porter, a barrel aged imperial stout that Pete picked up in Nashville, Joe's dark mild, and Mary's Belgian bret and sour.
Next meeting is May 15. Put it on your calendar now, and bring a friend! If you're not a member, do you love trying various beer styles? Thinking about home brewing? Just curious? Attend your first meeting FREE!
It's Spring Break week for our county public schools, so that may account for only 7 in attendance this month. Still, it was a productive and interesting meeting with several topics of discussion and 7 beer tastings!
Topics included the advantages of hydrating yeast or using "smack packs" like Y-Yeast and White Labs. Recommendations for more info include an online resource from Scott Labs and a book "Yeast" available through the Brewers Association. As expected, freshness, timing and temperature are important.
Beers included an IPA with oats and late hopping, a German pilsner, a red ale, a gluten-free porter/stout, and a Belgian golden with loquat. Ray brought the HEAT with a ghost pepper imperial stout and a habanero meed!
I filled in to run this month's meeting, but we're still looking for a new President and VP. Ideas for club activities and meeting topics are also welcomed! Speaking of related topics, check out www.tampabayhistorycenter.org for events related to their new brewing exhibit, like Brewseum March 28 from 5pm to 8pm!
This month's attendance was 13, welcoming new member AJ. We sampled 10 beers including a deliberate sample of an off-flavor with a discussion of the causes. Beer Smith and Brewers Friend were recommended for recipes. Other information shared included an invitation to run for President and VP, as the current officers are stepping down. Save dates for the Brewer's Ball at Waterside Park in Tampa 3/3, the AHA Regional Competition 3/31 & 4/5-4/7, and the annual Homebrew Con in RI in June! See ReggieBeer.com to enter your beers in competitions and get expert feedback.
Our regular meeting is back after a Thanksgiving meetup at my house and our annual holiday gathering at Bootleggers Brewing Co., with 15 members present. I was officially named our Equipment Manager, succeeding George who's going to be busy with a couple more years of work and a second job opening his own brewery! We're going to need a new President and VP in April. Apply now!
Put Feb 16 on your calendar for Fergs' Hops for Heros, a club pouring event not to be missed! Should we use the "Beer Booth"?! (weather permitting) Also, I've made reservations at the Omni in RI for the annual AHA Convention, thinking of driving up with the Beer Booth for that one too! Save a date (tba) in April for the AHA Regional competition. Enter a beer and plan on helping out with stewarding for some or all of the 5 sessions. This is the best opportunity of the year to enjoy beer with like minded enthusiasts!
The Coconut Cup competition is open as is the Dunedin IPA smashdown and a Feb pro/am at Coppertail, and while you're at it, the AHA competition. Sign up online at https://reggiebeer.com.
Did you know there are about 80 breweries in the area now? The top 10 in sales include Cigar City, Coppertail, Big Storm, and Tampa Bay Brewing to name a few.
We had a round table discussion on wort aeration, which is important to the
percent dissolved oxygen for yeast health. It's especially important for high gravity beers and 5 gal or more batches. Fermentation time, attenuation, and sweetness can all be affected by aeration. The full study is available in our Facebook files. Pictured is my wort stirring device, designed for quicker wort cooling, and may also aid aeration.
Beer Tastings included Rye Wheat, Spiced Holiday Ale, Pale Lager, IPA, Weizenbock, Dunkles Bock, Starfruit Gueuze, and a Meed. Prost!
The pouring event at Cajun Cafe, St. Pete, for Paws for a Cause was a big success! We enjoyed pouring our beer for a large crowd of enthusiastic beer drinkers. Two outside buildings provided ample space for both a collection of clubs and a number of local breweries. A generous lunch and appetizers were included. And the beer... YUM! So many styles, all excellent! Members are encouraged to attend these events. It is always a good time with friends new and old to mingle, see the variety of serving setups, and swap stories with brewers from all over the Tampa Bay area.
Dominic's Hard Seltzer "Ghost", Rob's IPA, Dean's IPA, Brian's NE IPA, Lee and Katie’s Pumpkin saison, Mary’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Berliner and a Coconut Stout for desert.
Nov 3 at Cajun cafe in Pinellas Park. Pour your beer. Or just attend, tickets are $55. Includes food. This is also the AHA National Homebrew Day! Celebrate with us! Sign up w/President Joe.
Meeds special interest group:
SIG sign up and pick possible days. First Wed?, Sun afternoon...? Contact Ray.
Nov. is last entry for this year. Contact Joe Hirtz for info.
Rap’s 2019 pour, Hops for Heroes at Fergs. Contact Mary and George for info
The Annual AHA is in Rhode Island, June 27-29, 2019. Contact Mary if you're interested in attending.
Oct 5 at Winthrop 7pm-10pm
Oct wknds Best FL Beer help
Oct 13 Octobeerfest at Southern 5pm
Nov 18? at Rapp’s
Feb 16 at Fergs, St. Pete
1 bottle/month for feedback from qualified judges
3 per quarter to place for awards
Up to 2 per month, 6 per quarter maximum
Contact Joe Hirtz
Dual-tap Cooler Demo by Pete
Self-contained server for two 2 1/2 gal kegs. Includes quick connect for CO2 and wheels. Excellent for tailgate parties and club serving events!
Water-base Comparison Presentation by Brian
Served softened v well water versions of the same beer. Discussed the importance of pH in the mash, especially for pale beers. He shared a well water analysis ($30 by Ward Labs) and a spreadsheet by BrewWater.com. Pool or aquarium test kits could be used too, but with less detail.
Mary & George’s spiced cider (apple juice and Nottingham yeast, added some sugar, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg extracts fermented for 1-month) and their starfruit gose. Joe’s wheat and saison. Dom’s blond and robust porter. Pete’s marzen octoberfest. Lee’s IPA Brewdog-clone recipe, and Wes’s peanut butter cocoa imperial stout.
We’re planning on serving at Southern Brewing Oct 13 for Octobeerfest.
Best Florida Beer stewarding and entry info is posted on our Facebook page.
American Brown Ale (BJCP 19C), one of my favorites, was the topic of the month. Why are our beers always hoppier than European styles? Two samples were served; Florida Avenue (Brew Bus) Brown Ale and Cigar City Maduro. NorthernBrewer.com has recipes and look for Fall Down Brown at GreatFermentations.com.
New members Mike and son, Hunter, are fermenting their first batch of beer. Welcome to the club!
Members shared their brews; a Saison, Belgian (saison/tripel), pale ale (w/melanoidin), NE pale ale (made in 4 days!), pilsner, coffee blonde, El Mysterio amber, IPA, and a New Glarus Wild Sour.
Mary told us about her recent trip to Portland for the annual American Homebrewers conference. She displayed several of the freebies she picked up which she says were in such plentiful supply that you could probably come away with enough to equal the cost of your registration! There were many informative sessions on brewing, tours of area breweries, tasting parties, and LOTS of BEER! Next year's conference is in Rhode Island in June. It would be fun to get a group of members to attend. We could even have a decorated booth!
President Joe talked to us about his experiences with wort chilling, from his early days with a copper coil to his latest plate-chiller. Other members added comments about their efforts to build their own coils including using a keg as a form, ways to add fittings and connecting to pumps and ice chests.
We had four homebrews to taste. A couple of our newest members participated with glowing reviews from the rest of the members. We had a cream ale, blonde ale, pilsner, and an imperial stout. Prost!
Pouring events, stewarding contests, judging are just a few more of the many ways to enjoy this hobby we all love. Look for links here and on our Facebook page. Here's a BIG one you might want to consider. Best Florida Beers is looking for participation in the annual statewide event in Tampa. Get details on the website, https://bestfloridabeer.squarespace.com/homebrew-teir-1/.
Some other links to check out, recommended at this meeting...
Remember to check back with this website to keep up-to-date with club announcements, calendar items, and contests.
We had a well attended meeting this month with 6 new beers to try. New members in attendance included Paul, returning; Katie and Lee, new. Welcome!
Mary announced upcoming events Septembeerfest for home brewers and the Tampa Bay Homebrew Invitational at Rapp’s in November. Some of our members are entered into outsided Competitions, Wilds is finishing up this month. See the beer_calendar list on this website's Calendar page.
Rob, Pete, and Dean earned intra-club competition wins. Just submit 3 beers for judging over the next three months to participate. Get some expert feedback on your brews and who knows, you might even win a prize, like a gift card to Stein & Vine!
Obrien's, our meetings host, is having a beer dinner featuring Coppertail, Monday at 7pm for $45 per person. It's a multiple course meal with beer samples for each course!
Ryan presented his Munich brew and showed us his 2-cooler/pump brewing system. This is yet another excellent example of how inventive our club members are at designing, building, and brewing!
The six beers we tasted included Marys sours; a lingonberry berliner made with Good Belly, and a Guava gose with pink salt. My Fergalicious London Brown was well received with suggestions for minor changes in fermentation temperature. Robs American Porter made with a Grainfather was a treat! Andrew's Porter was just his 3rd batch and he's off to a great start! Joes American Stout was true to style. Yum!
Special invitation from Barley's Angels to join them Sun, July 15 on the Brew Bus at noon. Come along for a fun afternoon!
New to brewing. So much to learn. Grateful to have this club's help!